Joanna Anastasia

Kids crafts

DIY giant colouring pages

Make these DIY giant colouring pages with your kids and keep them occupied on a rainy day

Didn’t you always want to draw on the wall as a child? I did! And actually once, just before painting the house, my mom did let me draw on the walls. I remember I loved it so much! But obviously I’m not letting my kids to paint on the walls. But recently I came across giant colouring pages on Etsy, and that inspired me to make my own.

I’m not an illustrator, but my kids still loved colouring it. So if you don’t feel like an artist yourself, you can either get the Etsy one, or try making some simple colouring pages yourself. Smily clouds, flowers and fishes are simple enough! If you’re more talented than I am, you can add some animals too.

Colouring pages

Here’s what you’ll need:

Big roll of paper ( like the one from ikea)
Black sharpie
Tape

Colouring pages

Draw some simple things like: clouds, banners, little houses, fishes, flowers and stars.
Hang your colouring pages on the wall. Let them colour.

Colouring pages

And then they started to colour it, and draw on it. And I had piece and quite in the house :). It’s a win-win situation, wouldn’t you say?

Colouring pages

I let them try different tools too: crayons, pensions and some colourful chalk. It did look like a quite messy drawing at the end, but that’s the way it should be 🙂

Colouring pages

Do you think your kids would like it?

perfect summer series: ice sensory play ideas

Ice sensory play

It wouldn’t be a perfect summer for my kids if they wouldn’t get to explore the ice sensory play! What a pleasure it is for a child, to get to play with cold, melting and intriguing material on a hot summer day! Both of my kids ( now 17 months and three and a halth years old) loved these two activities, and where occupied for over 30 minutes ( my older one even longer). And they didn’t took me more than 5 minutes to prepare, so I got to be a cool mom, without no real merit!

Ice sensory play

Here is what happens when you freeze some plastic toys : all of the sudden they become irresistible! That’s why:

– they are hidden and hard to get
– they are intriguing and surprising
– your child needs to come up with the way to get them out

And I think that it teaches them:
– patience
– creativity
– and they learn about water and it’s qualities

Ice sensory play

So get some plastic figurines. Put then in a plastic container with water, and dump in a freezer over night. Get it out the next day, and let them explore.

Ice sensory play

You might add some cloth wipes, and warm water in another bowl.

Ice sensory play

At some point I helped her with the melting process, and we’ve poured some hot water on it (in a sink in the kitchen). And when the dogs where free, all of a sudden they’ve became my older daughters favourite toys for a whole day! ( oh, the amazing effect of the new toy).

Ice sensory play

So I’ll be for freezing some more toys this summer!

Ice sensory play

And this ice cubes sensory play was my baby’s favourite: she was mesmerized by the colourful cubes, melting there and painting the sidewalk.

Ice sensory play

All you need is :
Ice tray
Water
Food colouring

Make ice in the ice tray, and add a drop to food colouring. Let it freeze.

Ice sensory play

And let them play. I added some paint brushes, and they really liked it!

Ice sensory play

Just remember to dress them in cloths that are easy to wash, because thy will get dirty!
But since we can either have clean or happy kids, I guess that’s fine.

Ice sensory play

Do you organize ice play for your kids ?

Montessori play: salt dought figurines

Montessori play

There is something special about toys that you can make yourself, and Montessori play approach encourages that even with the little ones. Playing with natural elements that you can find around the house, imaginative play, toys that are simple and that leave space for children’s creativity: that’s what Montessori play is all about. So without knowing it, you might have been encouraging it with your children already!

[bctt tweet=”There is something special about a toy that a child can make on their own. “]

Of course sometimes (ok, I won’t lie, most of the time) my kids play with the store-bought plastic toys, but I try to help them imagine and create simpler and in the end more educative activities, just like this one here. And if you have younger and older kids, they could both participate, just let the younger one mix the salty dough while the older one can sculpt the figurines, and then they can each paint their own!

Making little figurines from scratch, painting them and then giving them all names, was something that my three and a half year old adored. It’s been more than a month now since we’ve made them, and she still plays with them!

You could keep them simply white, or like us you can let your kid paint them ( in which case they’ll end up looking quite funky ). Either way, I’m sure you’ll have fun!

Montessori play, salt dought kitten

Simple salt dough :

1 cup flour
1 cup salt
2 spoons warm water

Let your kid mix the salt dough ingredients together. If your dough is too runny, just add more flour, if it doesn’t want to hold well together, add more warm water. Oh, and there is no need to bake them, they’ll dry within 24 hours! So you can get painting almost right away:).

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To make a cat you just need to make one cylinder shape, that you make thinner on one side, and a ball with ears for the head.

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Now let your kid get creative with painting them. If your figurines are still drying try using paint that is thick.

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Lili started by painting eyes..

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and then she decided that they need much more colour..

Montessori play

And then she gave them all really funny names that she made up, and then she made them dance and cuddle together ( while I was happily checking my Facebook )..

Montessori play

I think that she really loves her cat family!

Montessori play

Oh, and here are the faces that I painted ( on the other side) with a sharpie; her faces got slightly over painted at some point ;).

Montessori play

So next time when you don’t know what to do on a rainy day, try making a cat family like we did, I’m sure your kids will love it :).

Art with babies

Art with babies

I know you’ve been all waiting for some art with babies ideas, right? For sure I was very impatient to introduce my baby Rose to painting and sculpting :)! But much less egar to deel with the mess that comes with it. So I came up with three art activities that are perfect for a baby and for a lazy tired mom!

First imagine this : a no-mess-painting activity! Sound like a dream, right?

Easy baby art ideas

What you’ll need :
A zip bag
Paint
Tape
Baby seated at a high chair.

Easy baby art ideas

So, if you’ll lock all the paint in the zip bag, and if you’ll tape this zip bag on to a table, then I guarantee that there will be no mess at all! And your baby will get to play and explore colour mixing! While keeping their hands clean! How convenient ;)!

Art with babies

Now, I thought that my one year old is too young for play dough. I was scared that she would eat it and then get sick. But if you’ll buy the non toxic,eco-kids Dough then it’s all good (although I still make sure that she’s not eating it). And it turned out that she really loves playing with it!

Art with babies

As you see I prepare her a bunch of play dough balls, and then she’s happy with segregating, squeezing and changing their shape.

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Another genius idea is edible baby paint! Yes, they can paint with it, massage their hair with it and then eat it. Just like all real artist do, right 😉 ?

Easy baby art ideas

What you’ll need :

Thick Greek yoghurt
Food colouring
Paper
Tape

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Mix yoghurt with food colouring, tape a piece of paper to the table wher your baby is seated, and let them explore the art of hand painting!

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And at what age did you start introducing your kids to art? How did it go?

Valentines salt dough craft two ways

Valentines day salt dough

You might not know it, but making a valentines salt dough craft is a very satisfying activity. First, the pleasure of making a toy from scratch ( littearaly ), second, playing with it’s soft texture, and third creating vimiscal valentines craft that’ll decorate you or your place :).

You see, I love to show to my daughter that we can make something lovely from nothing. I believe that it teaches her creativity and it gives her the feeling that anything is possible!

But coming back to our salt dought: it’s really fast to prepare, and so versatile! We didn’t make a big quantity, just enough for one kid to play with, so if you have more kids, or if you’d like to make a longer garland, just double this recipe.

And as you see, the creative process took us in two directions: we made one garland, and one small neckless :). I’m not saying I’ll wear it every day, but it’s a great accessory for our dressing out sessions 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons warm water
3 drops of red food colouring

Mix all the dry ingredients, then add water and food colouring, and mix it really well together. Now it’s ready for your imagination 🙂

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Start by cutting your shapes with a cookie cutter. This is a great toddler / kid activity, Lili was all concentrated and amused and it made her calm for more than 30 minutes (bliss).

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Place your shapes on a cooking sheet , and if like me you’re planning to make a neckless or a garland, than poke little holes with a chopstick. Then bake on 350F for around 20 to 25 minutes.

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Now put them on a string, hang on a window, in your kids room, or make a valentines neckless with it! You could also use them as valentines day gift tags ! Have fun :).

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Potato stamped gift tags

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In my attempt of putting the Christmas cheer in to a discusting, gray and cold morning, we made these simple, Scandinavian inspired potato stamped gift tags:). It’s such a simple craft, looks really nice and can be made even with a toddler!

Personally I love this simple black and gray palette, a bit rustic and a bit modern, but I’m pretty sure it would look great with a white cardboard and green or red paint.

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Cardboard gift tags
Potato
Knife
Paint

Stamped gift tags

Cut a shape of your choice from a half of a potato. We opted for a Christmas tree shape, but a star would also be nice! Now let your kid get creative and dirty :). Just remember that these potato stamped gift tags look the best when there isn’t much paint on your potato stamp! It might be difficult to explain this to a toddler, but otherwise you’ll just end up with a black stain on your gift card (what happened to us twice 😉 ).

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When you’re done just write a name with a pretty pen on the othe side, and you’re done !

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